Neighborhood Pig Needed

Back when Carter was younger we used to take a week’s vacation at family camp in Maine. It was summer camp for grown ups who just happen to have kids. It was the perfect vacation for a family with an only child because there were other kids to play with and all the activities were set up and ready to go.  
For me it was a true vacation because there was no cooking, or thinking about meals. I loved that they rang the bell and we went to the dining hall and ate family style with all our new friends. After a meal was the only work we had to do, which was to clear our own plates.  
Our camp was owned by a family who were “green” before green was in. So clearing our plates was a very precise operation. First you had to scrape your plate of any leftover food that was good for pig consumption, which was everything except lobster shells and the like. Then you had to put into the trash anything that could not be eaten, like tea bags. If you had recycling, that went in another bin. Lastly you dumped liquids in a bucket and stacked your plates in a rack for the dishwasher.
Nothing that could not be reused went to the trash. The best part to me was the pig food. The pig would eat almost anything, cooked, raw, old, spoiled or perfectly good. It made me very happy to know that nothing that ever was edible, but was not fit for human consumption would go to waste.
Today I found a cantaloupe in my fridge that somehow got over looked. It was a whole melon, never cut into, never enjoyed. But when I found it, it resembled a brain more than a melon, with dimpled wrinkled skin. Clearly it was no longer something anyone in my house would want to eat. Wah!  
Now it did not cost that much. It is mellon season after all, but still it is a waste. I imagine that it was once a juicy, yummy fruit, but I will never know. I had to throw it away. This is when I really wished we had a neighborhood pig I could feed it to.
I am sure I am not the only house in the neighborhood who throws away once perfectly good food. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could alleviate some of our guilt by feeding it to someone, a pig perhaps, instead of adding it to landfill where it will make methane.
Yes, I can compost it and turn it into dirt, but I am not so good at composting and it would be much easier to bring a bucket to a pig everyday. I am not sure what Hope Valley regulations are on home pig keeping, but if anyone in the neighborhood has one penned up out back and is looking for good pig scraps, please let me know. I hate throwing food away.


Last First Day


Carter said to me tonight, “How did I get to be a senior?” I am wondering the same thing. Not that she has not worked hard through the years and put in the time, but a senior, really, that’s old. Even the word means old.
She put on her senior shirt, with the traditional hiking boots as homage to the senior challenge she and her classmates are about to embark on. We came out front of our house to take the traditional first day of school photo. This time she did the art direction and after vetoing my first two tempts, and moved to a new location so I could get her in better light.  
That used to be my job, to present her in the best possible light. Now it is is her responsibility. She came home from her summer job three days ago and spent her time working on her college applications and summer assignments. I asked her about the common app and she told me it was already turned into her college counselor, no need for Mom’s help.
This year will be about weaning me as much as it will be about her finding her next move. At the end of last school year I wrote some blogs about being sad about Carter doing some things for the last time. My father called and asked if I needed to see a therapist because he was worried that I was so sad about Carter leaving. I told him no therapist needed, that is what my blog is for. I added, Carter reads this blog too, what if I was writing, “thank goodness my job as a full time mother is almost over.” He got the point.
Yes, I am sad that today was the last first day of school I will share with Carter at home. But that does not mean that I am also not excited for her and all that she has in her future. Carter is worried what I am going to do when she is gone. I jokingly tell her, “I am buying an apartment where you go to college so I can have lunch with you everyday.” She looks nervously at me, trying to judge what the chances are for that to happen.
I am not about to start worrying about what I am going to do when she is gone. I am just enjoying these last lasts. When she is at college I will have plenty of time to think about what is next. I consider that a huge luxury.
Yesterday we got some very tragic news that my trainer Tiffani, who I had worked out with for three years until she had a baby girl eight months ago, lost her sweet daughter Gena. Three weeks ago she was a happy and healthy little girl, then they discovered she had a rare liver cancer. Eight months old and then gone. It makes me so thankful for my sweet girl. As tightly as I would want to hold on to her I know that is not what is best for her. I am cherishing these precious days.  


Shrimp and Feta

 

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Back to school and healthy eating inspired me to make this easy dish tonight. We ate it on riced cauliflower from Trader Joes and I swear my mind thought it was rice! Even Russ said so.

 

2 large Vidalia Onions chopped

4 coves of garlic grated on the micro plane

3 -16 oz. cans of chopped tomatoes – Italian style

2 pounds of raw shrimp, peeled

Big handful of chopped fresh dill weed

1 cup of crumbled feta cheese

Squeeze of lemon juice

 

Put the onions in a non-stick fry pan and cook on high heat for five minutes, stirring every once in a while. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the tomatoes and continue cooking for ten more minutes and think about stirring every two minutes.

 

Spray a casserole dish with pam and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

 

Pour the onion and tomato sauce in an the casserole dish and add the dill, raw shrimp and feta cheese and sprinkle the whole thing with salt and pepper.

 

Place in the hot oven and bake for ten minutes, until the shrimp are just opaque and the feta is soft.

 

Remove from oven and squeeze some lemon over the whole thing.

 


Thanks Olympians

I watched the men’s basketball final, not because I thought it would be a close game, but because it was Coach K’s final game as team USA coach. Well, and it was the last event in this year’s Olympic Games that I have been addicted to. 
I know there had been controversy about Brazil not being ready for the games. But I have to say as a spectator of the television kind it was fairly fabulous. The only thing that I saw that was a real mess up was the diving well that grew algae because they “mistakenly” ran out of the chemicals to keep it at the right PH. Hmmmmm. Seemed fairly fast to turn so green.  
Thank goodness the games of Olympic sitting are done for me. I could hardly find another excuse to stay on the sofa. These games ended just in time for school to start Tuesday.  
Between two political conventions and the sports I have watched more TV this summer than ever. Not to mention watching our friend Megan Ketch star in The summer hit American Gothic. Summer is normally a time without TV since it used to all be reruns in the summer. Well, those days are over. This is not good.
For now I just want to thank the American athletes who trained their hearts out for years and years so I could feel bad about being a slug watching them. No really, the Olympics is the most impressive event. Athletes compete for medals, but that’s not the same as doing it for pay. I hope that they all can come home and feel the love. So many times after big life events depression can set on when they are over. Hopefully these Olympians won’t deal with that.  
I on that her hand might have a bit of a let down now that the competition is over and I don’t have any skin in this game. It was a great two weeks. Now back to regular life. How boring.


Failure

Eleven forth eight and I haven’t written my daily blog. Wish I could say it was because I had such a busy and fun filled day that I did not have time. That would just be a lie. I don’t have anything written because I spent the spent the whole day catching up with Carter. That is absolutely not true. She worked all day doing her common app and summer assignments that were assigned late in the summer. I hardly saw her.
Nothing was written earlier because I was on the couch watching the women’s volleyball and basketball In the Olympics. I am an addicted sloth. The only good part was I almost finished my needlepoint ornament that I have to turn in on Tuesday.
I should have written my blog before we went to our friends’ Kelly and Mark for dinner. I had way too much fun and stayed much too late at their house and now I am up against my midnight deadline with nothing new or exciting to write about.  
Tomorrow I’ll do better. I’ll watch the news and have some opinion about what crazy people are doing, or I’ll invent a new healthy dish that will be sure to revolutionize the lives of those of us who would like to drop a few pounds. I promise tomorrow will be better. Maybe I can come up with a cure for cancer or at least a new way to whiten your teeth.  
It’s just that after five and a half years of writing everyday some time I just don’t have anything to say, or anything I can say publicly. I’m sure if you were sitting here I could tell you some fabulous, but embarrassing story, but not in the one minute I have until it is tomorrow. Consider this a failure to entertain blog. It happens.


My Girl Is Home, For Now

Six weeks of Camp Cheerio camp counseling is over. Carter waited all year for this summer job to come and now in a blink of her eye it is over. For me it was a long six weeks, especially the last two. I could hardly wait to see her. Shay and I went and stood in the driveway waiting for her little car to come down the road.
She pulled in the driveway and Shay went running to jump on her as she got out of the car. She was tan with legs covered in bug bites like she always was when she came home as a camper. I don’t know why I thought that once she was a counselor bugs would stop liking her. It was so good to hug my girl again.
Now we are on the three day sprint to the start of her senior year. It is hardly enough time to get all her laundry done, her car unpacked and all her camp stuff put away, her school books readied, her senior portrait taken, and get caught up on sleep all at the same time. Not to mention making sure she has all her hiking gear for her senior challenge, a five day outdoor survival trip that starts in a week.
I have hardly gotten her home when she will leave again. It seems unfair, but it is all just getting me ready for when she leaves next year. I had lunch with my friend Stephanie this week whose daughter is going to college next week. She was filling me in on all the things I need to do this year, like do a year book page for Carter and get reservations for graduation night dinner.  
It is happening too fast. I want a little more time to enjoy with Carter. I know that time will be precious with all she will have on her plate this year. For now I guess my job is to get to work on the laundry. Carter could do it herself, but I know she has been sleep deprived for the last six weeks doing the hardest job she loves the most. The least I can do for her is to wash her clothes so she can sleep a little more. There won’t be much sleeping once school starts.


A Cautionary Tale

The news about Ryan Lochte and his fellow partying swimmers who claimed to have been robbed in Rio is trickling in and it’s not good news. Perhaps the timeline started something like this. The four men go out partying after they have finished competing- nothing wrong there. Needing to use a bathroom, they vandalized a gas station bathroom and paid for the damage – ok, not good, but they made restitution for their bad act.
They go back to the Olympic village and don’t say anything. But it seems like Ryan talked to his mother, and for whatever reason told her that they had been robbed and she called NBC. That’s when the the lying to the world started. Now these four athletes who had a chance to be role models, and perhaps make some money doing endorsements have ruined their reputations over a ridiculous lie.  
Everyone lies. Sometimes we do it so as not to hurt someone’s feelings — “No,you don’t look like you’ve gained any weight.” Other times we do it to make ourselves seems better than we are — “I two putted that last hole.” Sometimes we do it just because we were lazy — “What do you mean you didn’t get my RSVP, I left you a message.”
Maybe Ryan didn’t want to tell his Mama that he had spent all his money partying, paying for taxis and paying off the gas station for the damage he had done. Maybe he was calling her for money and the excuse he gave her was he lost all his money in a robbery. Seemed like a good idea at the time. He didn’t want his Mom to be mad at him. Wrong!
Telling one lie led to the next and the next and now he has an international incident on his hands, Brazil didn’t like being portrayed as a dangerous place, even if it is true and countries that don’t like America use this as an example as what is wrong with us.
The lesson here is that lying is probably going to get you in trouble, especially if you lie to the police. Lochte should have taken his chances with his mother and told her the truth. Moms may get mad, but they are your most forgiving advocate.
As I always remind Carter, Martha Stewart did not go to jail for insider trading, she went to jail for lying to the police about it. If you do something wrong, own up to because the lie you tell to cover it up is going to get you in a whole lot more trouble that the original bad act.


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